Despite its size (and irrelevance in national elections), New York City produces about 1% of all of America's greenhouse gas emissions. That's as much as the entire countries of Ireland and Portugal, however considering that New Yorkers account for about 2-3% of the U.S. population, 1% isn't bad. But it's not great either, and Mayor Bloomberg said, "We can no longer deny the science and bury our heads in the sand. Climate change is a real issue with real consequences. And as a coastal city, New York can't just sit back and hope for the best."

According to the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability's "Cities for Climate Protection Campaign," the average New Yorker contributes less than a third of the greenhouse emissions produced by the average American. This is likely thanks to the City's extensive public transportation system, reducing a reliance on cars. Interestingly enough, most of NYC's emissions don't actually come from buses and trains but from operating all of those large buildings we've got in these here parts - accounting for almost 79% of all gas production (the national average for buildings' gas emissions is 32%). Here's a sobering statistic: "citywide emissions have increased by approximately 8 percent in the last ten years, and are on trend to increase approximately 25 percent above 2005 levels by 2030" (partially due to the increase in population the city projects).

These numbers come from a study conducted by Mayor Mike's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, which is aiming for a 30% decrease in emissions by 2030. For the next 1000 days, reducing carbon emissions will be a top priority for the city. However, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff "avoided any discussion of congestion pricing, dodging the subject when asked about it by reporters" but the NY Times says there's internal support for it.

The Sun reports the Mayor's plan will be unveiled on Earth Day and the city will also be hosting the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit May 14-17; former president Bill Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg will be keynote speakers.

Photograph of apocalyptic-looking sky by pr002i on Flickr